The crowded race for Aurora City Council could turn into a real barn-burner with the attention it’s drawing — especially from progressive groups.
We told you last week about progressive group Colorado People’s Action throwing its support behind four candidates for council, promising to canvass neighborhoods in an effort to increase turnout.
Well, now the state’s largest environmental group, Conservation Colorado, has endorsed two candidates for the traditionally conservative-leaning city council. The group has endorsed Crystal Murillo in Ward 1 and Nicole Johnston in Ward 2 for the council. There are 26 candidates vying for five seats on the council.
“We were impressed by their commitment to protecting Aurora from pollution, their desire to ensure that growth is reflective of community needs, and their passion for creating a more inclusive government in Aurora,” spokesperson Jessica Goad said in an email to Colorado Politics.
While the Denver-based group has in the past prioritized state legislative and statewide races, with an occasional county commission race thrown in the mix, Conservation Colorado endorsed candidates for municipal office for the first time this election cycle, Goad said. Last year, the group spent $1.3 million on state legislative races.
As the third-largest city in the state, Aurora drew the group’s eye because of its ethnically-and racially-diverse populace and hopes to help elect candidates that can influence city policy on environmental issues like oil, gas and public transportation.
“We are planning to knock doors, make phone calls, and hit the pavement to help these candidates win,” she said.
The group already organizes in Aurora, through its Protégete program, a joint Conservation Colorado and League of Conservation Voters program which seeks to “elevate Latino voices.”Though the seats on the City Council are non-partisan, Aurora City Council is known for its conservative leanings. A Westword report in 2015 detailed Aurora as among the 10 most conservative cities in the country.